Chad Schafer

Since receiving my Ph.D. in statistics from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2004, I have had appointments in the Department of Statistics at Carnegie Mellon University. Prior to my time at Berkeley, I earned an M.S. in Statistics from the Department of Statistics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a B.S. from Western Michigan University. In between, I spent 1.5 years working at the Mathematics and Computer Science Division of Argonne National Laboratory, helping to construct a climate model.

I enjoy maintaining close interaction with the domain scientists, and have benefited significantly from the McWilliams Center for Cosmology at CMU and its strong links to the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) and the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), two of the largest data-gathering endeavors in astronomy. I also place great emphasis on teaching and other educational activities.

Specific Research Interests

One specific, recurring theme in my research is the rigorous handling of the complex models and data structures that increasingly dominate the sciences. For example, cosmological models are characterized by key unknown physical constants; modern astronomical surveys generate data that hold great promise to accurately estimate these quantities, but this requires statistical methods that are tailored to the theoretical models and noisy, high-dimensional data that abound in the field.